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Monday, April 8, 2013

Canal Saint Martin

The Saint Martin Canal was originally built in the early 1800s on the orders of Napoleon to bring drinking water to Paris. Later, the canal was used to transport materials and grains to the center of Paris. Nowadays, it's a low-key tourist destination, offering Parisians and visitors a place to stroll and bicycle in a neighborhood that is in the process of revitalization.

On Saturday, I met a new friend, Lucy, in the Canal Saint Martin neighborhood for lunch. We met at Chez Prune, a trendy address near the canal. Smokers huddled on the terrace in front of the bistro. It felt more like December than April in Paris.
We had lunch indoors, and then left for shopping and exploring in the neighborhood. First stop: Antoine et Lili, a nearby boutique whose unique colors and designs evoke California in the 1960s.
After leaving the bright colors of the boutique, we walked along the canal with its many locks and pedestrian bridges. 
 Later, we picked up some bicyles (Velib') and rode along the canal to the bassin de la Villette.
Lucy, a writer from Knoxville, Tennessee, is visiting Paris for five weeks.  I wish she could see this area in the summer when it is transformed into a giant playground as part of Paris Plages.


  1. How wonderful is this, your Europe au pif on Canal Saint Martin; and that the universe should bring you a brief glimpse of our Lucy!...Enjoy each other! Lucy is one of the dearest, sweetest, most precious spirits I have the pleasure to call a friend. Lucy you look adorable on the bike near the water! LOVE IT!!

  2. Yes, I am so glad that the universe brought us together! Lucy is a very very special person. My only regret is that she isn't staying longer.

  3. You are indeed lucky to share time with Lucy - she is everything Mary Lynne Payne said! Lucy (Lucie), you do look at home in Paris! Wonderful photos!